As members of the audience, the actual amount of money a movie makes at the box office probably shouldn’t matter to us. All we ought to care about is whether we liked the movie. But with box office information constantly in the news and readily available on the Internet, it seems as though everyone talks about the movies the way that studio executives do. So to feed this error in our ways, here are links to several of Box Office Mojo’s All-Time Box Office charts. (And, yes, I confess, I’m absolutely addicted to this site!)
- All-Time Domestic Gross
In general, when people talk about box office records, this is the list they are talking about. As of March 2012, Avatar was #1 on this list with a lifetime gross of $760 million.
- Worldwide Grosses
This list looks at how much movies have made around the world, including its U.S. box office. Movies can sometimes be a flop domestically but still do well on the international market. As of March 2012, Avatar was also #1 on this list with a lifetime worldwide gross of $2.78 billion.
- Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation
Prices for movie tickets have gone up over the years, so the top of the all-time domestic box office list tends to be biased toward more recent movies. But what if you took the number of tickets sold for each movie and multiplied them by the current average ticket price? That would give you a much better read on what the most popular movies of all time have been. Number 1 on this list belongs to Gone With The Wind with an adjusted gross of $1.58 billion, followed by the original Star Wars with $1.39 billion. Avatar, which is #1 on the other two lists, comes in at #14 on the adjusted list.